Will the general election be between three New Yorkers?
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg would be competitive in a three-way general election race with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to a poll conducted by Republican public opinion guru Frank Luntz.
The nationwide poll, conducted with 900 likely voters on Jan. 26 and 27, shows Trump with 37 percent, Clinton with 33 percent and Bloomberg with 29 percent in a hypothetical match-up.
“If Michael Bloomberg decides to run for president as an independent, he will begin the campaign just a handful of points behind the front-runners from BOTH political parties,” Luntz wrote in a memo. “The key takeaway? There’s more than a political lane available to the former mayor; it’s an interstate highway.”
Added Luntz: “The numbers are clear and compelling: there is definitely room for a second billionaire in this election.”
The New York Times reported last weekend that Bloomberg, a billionaire, is weighing a potential independent run for the White House and would be willing to spend $1 billion of his fortune on a race if he thought he could win.
The poll also substituted Trump’s name for rival Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and found that Bloomberg’s numbers stayed about the same.
“Notice that Bloomberg’s numbers do not change regardless of whom the GOP candidate is,” Luntz writes in the poll. “He is in the upper 20s against Clinton and all three GOP contenders – a very strong showing for a non-candidate.”